Hot List: Food & Drink
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Philadelphia casinos are upping the ante with celebrity appearances, music and cool dining concepts.
At Parx Casino (2999 Street Road, Bensalem), Rob McElhenney, Chris Noth and Pamela Anderson have all dropped by the 360 lounge for cocktails and live music. Harrah’s Chester (777 Harrah’s Blvd., Chester) hosts comedy cabarets, concerts and other special events for guests to enjoy between poker and horse racing. And when the temperatures turn warm, the outdoor patio at SugarHouse Casino (1001 N. Delaware Ave.), overlooking the Delaware River, is a prime spot for late-night drinks.
Best Bets for Brunch
Stellar midday fare is on the menu at these weekend favorites.
Rouge (205 S. 18th St.) set the standard for marathon brunches in Philadelphia. Other worthy contenders? The Village Belle (757 S. Front St.) focuses on Mediterranean plates like frittata and seafood salad paired with subtly sweet cocktails, while Amis Trattoria (412 S. 13th St.; site.amisphilly .com) wins guests over with inventive Italian fare: homemade pastas, charcuterie and egg dishes. At R2L (2 Liberty Pl., 37th Fl.) Sunday brunch is an à la carte affair filled with steak and eggs, caviar-topped pizza and cream chipped lobster. Dim sum brunch at Sampan (124 S. 13th St.) promises a relaxed lounge atmosphere: On Saturdays and Sundays, choose from approximately 15 authentic options, five of which can be plucked from the restaurant’s dim sum cart.
A spate of healthy, calorie-conscious eateries has sprung up in the last year. Here, the inside dish on each restaurant.
You can create customized salads, wraps, burritos and more by ticking off items from the greens-and-proteins-heavy menu at the international restaurant chain Freshii (The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, 1414 S. Penn Sq.). Ingredients sourced from local farms for fresh salads and natural frozen yogurt made Sweetgreen (3925 Walnut St.) an instant success in its hometown of DC. Jar Bar (107 S. 12th St.) finally brings the raw-foods phenomenon to Philly in the form of veggie-rich fare, sweet treats and signature juices. With two locations, in South Philly and Center City, Fuel (1917 Passyunk Ave.; 1225 Walnut St.) specializes in organic salads and sandwiches that clock in at a waistline- friendly 500 calories or less.
Gourmet to Go
Takeout has come a long way over the years, and there’s no shortage of amazing markets to try.
Sam’s Italian Market & Bakery (3504 W. Moreland Road, Willow Grove) has been dishing out old-world favorites, such as eggplant lasagna smothered in marinara sauce or fresh-baked cannolis, for decades. At Di Bruno Bros.’ new Ardmore location (120 Coulter Ave.), a pared-down menu of classic entrées and specialty goods gives suburbanites a taste of the daily spread at Di Bruno’s two-level Center City hub. Scoop up house-brand coffee to pair with buttery confections for breakfast, or charcuterie and a bottle of red from the wine shop at Garces Trading Company’s (1111 Locust St.) bustling meeting spot. Fork: Etc. (308 Market St.) offers a similar selection of specialty fare in addition to spices and produce.